In Defense of the Chevy Volt
I sometimes agree with Joe Nocera (evil banksters) and sometimes disagree with him (fracking). Today I'm pleased to see him reporting from the New York Auto Show and going after critics of the Chevy Volt:
... "When you talk to people about the car," said Eric Rotbard, a lawyer in White Plains, "the killer moment is when you tell them you are getting 198 miles per gallon." An owner at another table chimed in, "Is that all you get?" Everyone laughed.
Yet there was also an undercurrent of nervousness at the breakfast. A reporter for Fox News had been prowling the auto show, asking nasty questions about the Volt. For months, the conservative propaganda machine -- including Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, and Neil Cavuto, the Fox News business editor -- had been mocking the Volt, and linking it to President Obama, who has long touted the promise of electric cars....
What is the connection between President Obama and the Volt? There is none. The car was the brainchild of Bob Lutz, a legendary auto executive who is about as liberal as the Koch brothers. The tax credit -- which is part of the reason conservatives hate the car -- became law during the Bush administration....
There's more. It's a good column.
But then, near the end, we get this:
At the breakfast I attended, many of the Volt owners wanted General Motors to fight back. But Chris Perry, a G.M. marketing executive, cautioned that that would only bring more attention to the Volt's status as "a political punching bag." He added, "We are looking at the long term, and we know this is going to pass." Which it surely will -- after November.
No, Joe, no -- not if "after November" is shorthand for "once we have an election, in which Obama is likely to win a second term, the fever's going to break and this relentless series of assaults on Democrats, liberals, and moderates is going to die down."
Why the hell would it die down? Why wouldn't the right just keep fighting as hard as it's fighting now? Don't forget: the right launched a full-on assault after the 2008 elections, when Democrats won the White House, a huge majority in the House, and what looked to be a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. The right didn't give a crap. The right isn't going to give a crap after November, even if Democrats run the table.
The right isn't going to give a crap until it's crushed. The only question, after November, is whether the right is just going to be ablke to gum up the works or have complete control over the works.